Weekly Corn Sales Good

Weekly corn export sales, released Thursday, May 24, topped trade expectations and provided some modest support for slumping corn prices. Overall, however, 2000-2001 sales remain slow.

USDA pegged corn export commitments for the week that ended May 17 at 46.9 million bushels, versus trade expectations for 31.5-39.5 million bushels. The leading buyers of U.S. corn for the marketing week were Japan, Egypt and Mexico.

Despite the stronger-than-expected sales, U.S. corn export sales for 2000-2001 to date remain 7.9% behind a year earlier, raising the possibility that exports will fall short of USDA's current estimate of 1.9 billion bushels.

Soybean export sales for the week that ended May 17 were lower at 8.5 million bushels, versus trade expectations for 11-18.5 million bushels. That included sales of 4.3 million bushels for the 2001-2002 marketing year. Soybean sales for 2000-2001 are still running 7.3% ahead of those of a year earlier.

USDA pegged weekly wheat sales at 15.1 million bushels, versus trade expectations of 7.5-15 million bushels. The weekly total was still considered poor. Shipments were also slow and with just two weeks left in the marketing year, it looks like exports will fall a bit short of USDA's projection of 1.1 billion bushels.

Wheat sales for the upcoming 2001-2002 marketing year totaled 9.2 million bushels, up slightly from a week ago. Advance sales for 2001-2002 continue to run well behind the pace of a year earlier. However, there will be some sales carried forward from the old-crop year.

Editors note: Richard Brock, Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.